Design thinking frameworks as transformative cross-disciplinary pedagogy

Anderson, Neil, Adam, Raoul, Taylor, Pauline, Madden, Dianna, Melles, Gavin, Kueh, Christopher, Wright, Natalie, and Ewens, Bev (2014) Design thinking frameworks as transformative cross-disciplinary pedagogy. Report. Office for Teaching and Learning, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

PDF (Full report on OLT project) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike.

Download (856kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


This seed project 'Design thinking frameworks as transformative cross-disciplinary pedagogy' aimed to examine the way design thinking strategies are used across disciplines to scaffold the development of student attributes in the domain of problem solving and creativity in order to enhance the nation's capacity for innovation. Generic graduate attributes associated with innovation, creativity and problem solving are considered to be amongst the most important of all targeted attributes (Bradley Review of Higher Education, 2009).

The project also aimed to gather data on how academics across disciplines conceptualised design thinking methodologies and strategies. Insights into how design thinking strategies could be embedded at the subject level to improve student outcomes were of particular interest in this regard. A related aim was the investigation of how design thinking strategies could be used by academics when designing new and innovative subjects and courses. This aim is critically important because research in higher education has demonstrated that achieving graduate attributes is very challenging within disciplines and often little attention is given to achieving generic attributes at the subject level. Design thinking principles and frameworks are considered to be excellent scaffolds for supporting the development of creative and innovative mindsets but little empirical research has been conducted. The national 'Creative Australia Cultural Policy' (2012) recommended embedding design thinking in education, government and business in its two major conclusions. In this project the work that is currently being done to embed design thinking in higher education is highlighted. The key proposition that was tested through a case study approach was that design thinking frameworks can be implemented at the university subject level or subject planning level to successfully scaffold students' ability to solve problems and approach problems with an innovative and creative mindset. Eight case studies were completed to illustrate how design thinking strategies were used in different discipline areas to improve student learning outcomes. The case studies presented initial empirical evidence to support the use of design thinking frameworks. The strategies highlighted are applicable and relevant to a particular discipline area but also have potential application in a range of other discipline areas.

Item ID: 37592
Item Type: Report (Report)
ISBN: 978-1-76028-012-3
Keywords: design thinking; pedagogy; cross disciplinary; design thinking strategies; office for learning and teaching
Related URLs:
Additional Information:

With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, and where otherwise noted, all material presented in this document is provided under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website (accessible using the links provided) as is the full legal code for the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Funders: Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2015 01:43
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 208
Last 12 Months: 9
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page